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What changes happened to the ignition interlock system?

The ignition interlock system started in 2007 in South Carolina. This system, which essentially puts a device on a person's car that tests his or her breath for alcohol before allowing the car to start, came about as a result of the Prevention of Underage Drinking and Access to Alcohol Act. However, some changes were made to it in 2014, when the government passed a new regulation known as Emma's Law.

The first major change was that any person who blew more than a .15 in Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) had to use an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). This was true even if it was the person's first offense.

On top of that, a camera had to be added to the IID. The camera then records the person using the device to ensure that the right person blows and activates it.

Furthermore, Emma's Law made it so that everyone had to participate in the program if they qualified for it. Before that, people had the option to ask not to be included, which could sometimes be granted. The new law makes it mandatory for any DUI that qualifies.

Finally, the 2014 changes set up harsh penalties that could be used if someone was caught skirting the law simply by driving a different car or truck, one that had not been equipped with an IID. Since the IID is attached directly to the vehicle, those who have been issued these devices must use only the vehicles to which they have been connected.

Have you been charged with a DUI in South Carolina? If so, it's very important to keep an eye on the DUI laws to see how they can change over time.

Source: South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, "Ignition Interlock Restricted License," accessed April. 28, 2015

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